Video Otoscopy Performed by Dr. Michele Tranchina, UVS Dermatologist

Otoscopy procedure

The owners of pets who have persistent trouble with ear infections are often referred by their family veterinarians to seek the help of a board-certified veterinary dermatologist. Dermatologist Dr. Michele Tranchina with Upstate Veterinary Specialties has undergone several more years of specialty training in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic and infectious disorders affecting the skin following veterinary school.

Although not as obvious as problems with the pet’s coat or skin, a variety of conditions can also affect the inner surfaces of the ears, including fungal or bacterial infection or the presence of parasites or tumors. One of the available technologies for imaging the ear canal and is known as video otoscopy.

Normal ear canalSeasonal allergies can certainly cause dermatological problems to become more pronounced during peak-allergy months March/April and July/August, although many pets’ ear infections may be present and cause problems throughout the year. While chronic ear infections can be a problem for both cats and dogs, infections in dogs tend to be much more common.   In some dog breeds (such as retrievers, spaniels, pugs, basset hounds), the structure of theear can make ear infections more prevalent although any companion animal could develop bacterial or fungal ear infections. For those ear infections which are persistent or difficult to treat, a veterinary dermatologist might gain insight on treatment strategies by imaging the ear canal.

Occasionally symptoms consistent with chronic ear infections (scratching, head-shaking, excessive ear discharge) could be the outwardly recognizable signs of other problems. Video otoscopy allows Dr. Tranchina to flush any debris from the ear canal and visualize the inner structures while the patient is anesthetized. This allows the identification of foreign bodies in the ear canal or tumors. If a tumor or polyp is identified by Dr. Tranchina, she may also consult with the UVS surgeon Dr. Faulkner Besancon,



Tumor in ear canalThe dermatology team at UVS works with you and your family veterinarian to determine the best course of action for your pet. If you feel that your pet might need to see a dermatologist for chronic ear or skin infections, please speak with your family veterinarian about a referral to Upstate Veterinary Specialties.

If you are a referring veterinarian and have a patient who could benefit from a dermatology consultation, please contact us at (518)783-3198. We have recently made our online referral available for your convenience.